Right‐wing postmodernism and the rationality of traditions

Zygon 52 (3):807-821 (2017)
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Modern thought typically opposes the authority of tradition in the name of universal reason. Postmodernism begins with the insight that the sociohistorical context of tradition and its authority is inevitable, even in modernity. Modernity can no longer take itself for granted when it recognizes itself as a tradition that is opposed to traditions. The left-wing postmodernist response to this insight is to conclude that because tradition is inevitable, irrationality is inevitable. The right-wing postmodernist response is to see traditions as the home of diverse forms of rationality. This requires an understanding of the Socratic, self-critical aspect of intellectual traditions, which include both modern sciences and the great world religions.

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Phillip Cary
Eastern University


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